Riley Research: Helping Sam's Fight

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Riley kid Sam Jackson

When 16-year-old Sam Jackman stepped onto the basketball court at North Montgomery High School the night before last Thanksgiving, emotions flooded through his family, and an entire community. Just one year earlier, Sam received the news that he had acute myeloid leukemia (AML.) Riley Pediatric Oncologist Kamnesh Pradhan, M.D., led Sam’s cancer care, which included four inpatient stays for chemotherapy, and a bone marrow transplant. 

"I am really thankful for the nurses and doctors. They were awesome,” says Sam. “I spent around 120 days at Riley as an inpatient and had plenty of time to talk with the nurses. When I was in pain or discomfort they always helped me.”

Sam also enrolled in several research trials. One is testing the drug bortezomib when combined with standard AML therapy, and another trial is tracking long-term outcomes of bone marrow transplant recipients. Although it will be a while before they know if Sam benefitted from the trial himself, he and his family understand the importance of participating in pediatric research. "I think it's important to learn what drugs help kids with AML find remission," says Sam.

As Sam’s mother Lisa Jackman explains, “When you have your child in this life threatening situation it’s nice to know you’re at a place that’s involved with cutting-edge ways to treat your child.”

Did you know?

Thanks to gifts from donors, Riley has:

  • Begun recruiting talented new investigators for all seven teams at the Wells Center for Pediatric Research (Riley’s research facility)
  • Helped researchers launch trials and obtain a 40% increase in federal funding in the past two years

Riley Blogger

The Riley Blog is written and/or edited by members of the Riley Children's Foundation Communications Staff.

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